So you may have noticed that the update schedule of this blog can best be described as ‘intermittent’. Other possible descriptions are ‘infrequent’, ‘occasional’, ‘fitful’, ‘non-isochronal’, or even ‘as rare as mermaid toes’. We can only apologise for that: life tends to get in the way.

The trouble with blogs that have a somewhat lackadaisical update schedule is that, sooner or later, you stop checking for new posts. That’s bad for the blog (fewer readers), but also bad for you, because you might miss an interesting article.

RSSBut did you know that you don’t have to keep checking back?

Now, if you’re a techie sort, you’re probably rolling your eyes at this point, but yes, I’m talking about RSS. If this is old news to you, then you can go back to installing Ubuntu on your microwave, and read no more.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It lets you subscribe to ‘feeds’ from you favourite blogs, and see all the updates in one place.

Let me show you how it works:

1) Find the RSS feed. Most (but not all) blogs have them. Ours is on the right, “Entries RSS” under META. (The other thing you can look for is the orange RSS icon). Click on the feed, and note the URL – ours is )

Now you need a ‘feed aggregator’ – there are many available, but I’m going to talk about Google Reader.screenshot2

2) In Google Reader click “Add a subscription” and paste in the URL. Hit “Add” and there you go.

3) Of course, if you’ve only subscribed to a single site there isn’t much point. But if you subscribe to all the sites that you keep forgetting to check, then you start to see the benefits. Bookmark Google Reader and you’ve now got all your intermittent-or-infrequent blogs available in a single place.

As you can see from the screenshot, new posts on any of the sites are shown in bold – it’s set-up a bit like an e-mail viewer; you can easily see what remains to be read.

So there you go: RSS – you might want to give it a try.

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